Bristol University student makes Miss England final promoting women in STEM

Jess wants to ‘show younger generations of women that actually it is attainable to do physics’ as a career which is currently male-dominated

Jessica Pliskin, a third year physics student at Bristol University, has made it to the Miss England final this year.

Jess applied to the competition just three months ago in February and is the only Bristol representative from the 40 remaining finalists. At just 22 years old, she has so far beaten 5,000 other contestants to get to this stage.

Her reason for entering the competition is to voice to young girls that careers in STEM subjects are achievable, despite the sphere being mostly male-dominated.

Talking to The Bristol Tab, Jess told us her interest in STEM came from her mother. She said: “I got into physics because my mum, she did a physics degree, I was just always really inspired by her. I always wanted to be just like her.”

Jess’ mum passed away 2 years ago when she first began her studies at Bristol University. Jess continued to say: “Physics is like a gift she gave me and now I really love it.”

She added: “I wouldn’t have done physics if she didn’t do it because I don’t know any other females who do physics who are older than me, so it wouldn’t have seemed obtainable.

“What I would use the Miss England platform for if I won would be to show younger generations of women that actually it is attainable to do physics and there are a lot of spaces for women in this career, as only 20 per cent of physics degrees are by women.”

The Miss England competition is made up of many different elements. Aside from beauty rounds and catwalks, Jess has been very active in working with charities and fundraising for causes that are important to her.

Since living in Bristol for four years, Jess chose to support Bristol charities that work on causes close to her heart. She has fundraised with the charity PAPYRUS, which supports young people in Bristol to prevent young suicide.

She has also worked alongside Bristol Children’s Charity, who provide support for vulnerable children living in Bristol. They help their families by giving them access to educational equipment, disabled equipment, beds, school uniforms, and more.

Finally, she has worked with the Balls to Cancer charity organisation, which supports individuals living with cancer, getting them life-saving treatment and helping with research and diagnosis schemes. She will be taking part in a skydive on September 8th later this year in Seville, Spain, with a fall of a huge 10,000ft. Her donation page is here.

So far, Jess has managed to raise approximately £3,000, an amazing achievement which will have an amazing impact on her chosen charities.

If Jess succeeds in the final, she will then go on to represent England in the Miss World competition, travelling internationally to compete.

The third year student is set to graduate from Bristol University next September, after impressively balancing her degree with Miss England training and charity events.

The final will take place across two days, 16th and 17th May next week. The final will be available to watch via broadcast on YouTube. You can follow any updates on Jess’ Instagram here.

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